Voice Disorder Services for Children

Specialists at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone assess and manage pediatric voice disorders—abnormalities in the pitch, tone, volume, or quality of your child’s voice.

Voice problems typically arise when the vocal cords do not open and close or vibrate properly. This interferes with the ability of air moving across the cords to create clear sound. Hoarseness is the most common voice disorder our providers manage. We also see children with velopharyngeal insufficiency.

Our pediatric otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat doctors), laryngologists, and speech–language pathologists diagnose the underlying cause of a voice disorder and create a personalized treatment plan for your child.

Advanced Tools for Diagnosis

These are some of the approaches our doctors may use to diagnose a voice disorder:

  • vocal evaluation, in which our providers listen to the sound of the voice at various pitches
  • transoral laryngoscopy, in which a narrow tube with a camera on the end is passed through the nose and into the throat to view the vocal cords as they move
  • microlaryngoscopy, which allows our doctors to view the vocal cords and take a biopsy, if needed
  • imaging to evaluate whether a growth is affecting the function of the vocal cord nerve and causing a voice disorder

Expert Management of Underlying Conditions

We collaborate with pediatric neurologists, sleep medicine doctors, and other specialists at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital to provide expert management of conditions that may be causing your child’s voice disorder, including the following:

  • congenital disorders, or conditions present at birth
  • benign or noncancerous growth on the vocal cords
  • inflammation of the vocal cords from allergies, infection, or from voice overuse
  • nerve damage from a surgical procedure in the neck or chest

Approaches to care may include vocal therapy exercises to reduce stress on the vocal cords. We also offer the following surgical procedures:

  • microlaryngeal vocal surgery to remove polyps, cysts, or lesions affecting the vocal cords
  • laryngeal reinnervation to repair damaged nerves affecting vocal cord movement

Our doctors can also refer your child to support services at Sala Institute for Child and Family Centered Care as they cope with a voice disorder or are recovering from surgery.